• Sat, Oct 22 2011

What On Earth Is Going to Air on McDonald’s TV?

You heard me: McDonald’s TV. Not in your home; inside actual McDonald’s. The fast-food chain has decided that it’s not enough for its customers to converse or whatever over their meals; no, they’re going to do their damndest to keep you entertained every second you’re inside one of their franchises, and now that includes the McDonald’s Channel. Described in the LA Times as “a digital network of exclusive original content targeted a dine-in customers,” the programming will also apparently be “customized to specific communities around the individual restaurants.” Expect local news and entertainment, as well as spotlights on upcoming movies, television shows, and albums.

Is it just me, or does this seem entirely unnecessary?

This analogy may only make sense to New Yorkers, but McDonald’s TV sounds suspiciously like that pre-recorded television channel they play on loop inside NY taxis these days. And they’re ANNOYING AS HELL. Thankfully, the taxi TV things have mute buttons, so as long as you haven’t been cursed with a taxi with a broken touch screen, you can at least limit your exposure to unnecessary noise. There likely wouldn’t be any way to mute McDonald’s TV, which, to be honest, might end up pushing away more customers than drawing them in.

Of course, I realize that the big question here might be why you’d be going into a McDonald’s in the first place. Do people really go to McDonald’s intending to stay there for a significant amount of time? Long enough, say, to want to watch something on a television screen? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that “fast food” generally meant “get in, get food, get out.”

But still, I kind of have to wonder: What ELSE could a channel geared entirely towards McDonald’s show? A crime procedural starring the Hamburglar? Grimmace’s greatest hits? Judge Ronald McDonald? Oh! I know! What about Supersize Me? Wouldn’t that be just HILARIOUS? Yeah, I thought so too.

Anyway, if you don’t live in California, it may be a while before you’re able to experience the McDonald’s Channel for yourself; the programming will be rolled out during the next few months in roughly 800 McDonald’s restaurants, but only ones in Southern and Central California. It also may be worth noting that reality TV mogul Mark Burnett, BBC America, and KABC-YB are among those that will be creating content for the network. The plan, according to the LA Times is for two high-def 42- to 46-inch screens to be installed in the restaurants, which will be visible from 70 percent of eating areas; audio will come in from the screen or from ceiling speakers. The programming will run in one-hour cycles, and will feature segments such as “The McDonald’s Achievers” (profiles of high school and college athletes), “Mighty Moms” (pieces on local moms juggling home life with careers in sport), and “Vimby” (focusing on fashion, art, music, night life—basically anything that’s not classified under “sports.” No idea where the name “Vimby” came from).

What do you think, Gentle Readers? Good idea? Terrible idea? Merely mediocre idea?

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

You can reach this post's author, Lucia Peters, on twitter.
What We're Reading:
Share This Post: